Though Nipah is not new to India, as our country had the first experience in 2001 when it spread in Bengal’s Siliguri district killing 50. Again it came in 2007, that time in Nadiya district, again in Bengal and killed 5. But now the world is watching the Nipah outbreak in Kerala. There have been 10 deaths due to Nipah outbreak in Kerala. The condition is a little bit panicky in parts of Northern Kerala, where Nipah has been reported. The State and the Central Governments are in their coordinated efforts to curb this virus with the help of all the available experts, specialized Institutes, special sections in Govt. Colleges, a 20,000 Sq.ft prefabricated modular building which houses virology labs and other diagnostic equipment etc. The Kerala Media never miss a movement happening in Kozhikode, especially Changaroth, the epicenter of the outbreak. The national media coverage is also tracking all the movements up to date. In this crucial condition, how can the world media
The BBC News reported the views of health officials which said that on Tuesday 10 people who had been exposed to the Nipah virus and shown the symptoms, had died. Two others had tested positive for Nipah and were considered critically ill, and more than three dozen people had been put into quarantine since the outbreak had begun in Kerala, the report said.
Kerala Health Minister’s words filled with helplessness were reported by Reuters. She said to Reuters,”This is a new situation for us; we have no prior experience in dealing with the Nipah virus”.She added that they(the Govt.) was hopeful they could put a stop to the break. Shailaja earlier made an announcement that the outbreak had been “effectively” contained and there was no need for the public to panic. But the virus’s spread- and the rapidly rising death toll-had prompted concern in the outbreak’s epicenter Kozhikode, a coastal city in Kerala, where people had been “swarming” hospitals with fevers and other illnesses to ensure they did not had the virus, a local government official told Reuters. An official named U.V.Jose said that they had sought the help of private hospitals to tide over the crisis.
Gulf News reported that Kerala was in a state of panic after many cases of the killer Nipah virus had been detected. The Hindu reported the terrifying incident when some ambulance drivers even had declined to take a victim’s body to the crematorium for the fear they would contract the illness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation, Nipah is an emerging disease which will be spread by bats, pigs and the people who have become infected. The outbreak virus’s suspected carriers are fruit bats.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as per the information they got from the public health crews told BBC News that the crew had found numerous bats in a water well that had been used by three family members who were among the victims. The report added that the crew had sealed the well with florescent nets.
BBC also reported the death of Lini, a nurse who worked at the Perambra Taluk Hospital. She died as a result of the infection she got while treating Sabith from Sooppikkada.He died later and after two days Lini also breathed her last at Kozhikode Medical College.Lini’s sentimental note to her husband from the deathbed, telling him to ‘take care of our children’ has also been reported by Associated Press.”I think I am almost on my way. I may not be able to see you again. Sorry,” wrote thus Lini Puthussery from her death bed to her husband.Lini had been a fearless and bold nurse and this boldness prompted her to treat the infected people even in the absense of any safety apparatus.
CDC reported the inception of Nipah virus.It was first identified in 1999 in Malaysia after farmers and others who had come into contact with pigs got infected.Samething happened in Singapore also in the same year.Those who got infected developed severe respiratory problems and inflammation in the brain.Nearly 300 people were diagnosed with the disease and more than 100 died, CDC reports said.Symptoms would show up one to two weeks after exposure and could include fever and headache, convulsions, respiratory and neurological problems, according to the agency.
WHO has said that the virus has a mortality rate of 75%. Henk Bekedam, WHO’s representative to India said that the agancy was monitoring the outbreak. He said that WHO had been informed about Nipah virus cases being reported in a family from a village in Kozhikode district of Kerala. He also said that both the Centre and the State health authorities had been quick in responding to the situation and had promptly deployed teams and experts to the village to further assess the situation. He further added,”WHO is in close contact with the teams of experts deployed to the affected areas. We await the assessment reports of the teams to clarify the situation and guide further action.”
Identify, Test and Treat – these are the three possible key words to stop Nipah spread. Bekedam said that to stop the spread of disease, the first step was to identify any potential victims, testing them and treating them as early as possible. The primary treatment is supportive care.